Jones Soda Co. revealed its new cannabis brand, Mary Jones Cannabis Co., on March 11. The product line will offer a variety of drinks, syrups, and gummies (16 different varieties in total).
Bohb Blair, Mary Jones Cannabis Co.’s Chief Brand Officer, described the potential of being one of the most recognizable beverage brands in the country embracing the cannabis industry:
“The Mary Jones brand is a game changer because, unlike every other company in the space, we bring an iconic brand with an equity that eclipses any current cannabis brand in the market, passionate fans who love our signature flavors, and a 25-year history of having fun with consumers by putting our fans’ photos on our labels, their quotes under our bottle caps and being available in record shops as often as the grocery store. This is real earned credibility you can’t fabricate,” said Blair in a press statement. “With all of these advantages, our irreverent personality and putting a cannabis twist on our brand traditions, we believe we are uniquely positioned to dominate the category.”
Mary Jones Cannabis Co. products will become available at select dispensaries across California as of April 1, 2022, with plans to expand to other states where recreational cannabis is legal. In its planned beverage line, it will offer 10mg cannabis-infused sodas in 12-ounce bottles as a four-pack, and also a 100mg cannabis-infused soda in a 16-ounce, 10-serving can. Additionally, it will offer a 1,000mg syrup tincture in a four-ounce bottle, and 5mg miniature soda bottle gummies, sold in a pack of 20. All of the products will be available in classic Jones Soda flavors, such as Root Beer, Berry Lemonade, Green Apple, and Orange Cream, with a few seasonal flavors planned for the future.
A few big players in the global beverage industry have expressed interest, but none of them have fully ventured into cannabis-infused drinks yet. In 2018, Coca-Cola was considering CBD products after the Farm Bill was passed. However in 2019, the company denied that there were any plans. Molson Coors Beverage Company partnered up with HEXO Corp to make Truss CBD USA, which led to the release of its non-alcoholic sparkling water CBD beverages in January 2021. More recently in February 2022, PepsiCo announced the launch of its hemp seed-infused drink through Rockstar Energy.
In a press statement, Jones Soda Company President and CEO, Mark Murray, explained the known challenges of moving into the cannabis industry. “Scaling a cannabis business is typically difficult because of the unique operational challenges working within a state-by-state and strict regulatory environment,” said Murray. “We have leveraged our indie soda expertise to come to market with scalable models for our proprietary flavors, THC emulsion and packaging that will enable us to extend our Mary Jones footprint to any market with consistent quality and brand integrity. We have been putting all of these pieces in place since we announced our intention to establish a cannabis division last July, and we fully expect the brand to deliver solid strategic growth for the company.” Jones Soda Company announced its move into the cannabis industry on July 15, 2021, and completed its acquisition of the Canada-based Pinestar Gold Inc., as of February 15, 2022.
Recent market study analysis by the Global Industry Analysts Inc. projects that the global cannabis market could reach up to $2 billion by 2026, citing the rapidly changing acceptance and legalization of cannabis. “The continued deregulation of cannabis, escalating societal acceptance, growing awareness of CBD benefits, and availability in familiar/popular formats are some factors supporting growth in demand and sales of cannabis beverages.”